During his first vote on the House floor Thursday, U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew, D-2nd, stood out among the 66 other freshmen Democrats who took office.
National and local media noted that during the House speaker nomination vote, Van Drew answered "no" when his name was called — which is not a voting option. He had pledged not to vote for Nancy Pelosi as House speaker.
Three voted “present:” Jeff Van Drew;— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 3, 2019
Elissa Slotkin; Jim Cooper
I told Rep. Jeff Van Drew a few months ago he couldn’t vote no. it wasn’t an option. He voted no.— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) January 3, 2019
Van Drew's vote was recorded as "present” by the clerk to meet the rules of the House.
Pelosi was elected speaker by a vote of 220-192 over Republican leader Kevin McCarthy.
South Jersey's Jeff Van Drew proving why North Jersey ignores South Jersey and why Central Jersey felt compelled to make the point that they're neither. If you lived here you'd understand NNJ is NY West and SJ is Philly East. Besides, both have weird accents. https://t.co/6AjjHxkneS— Heidi Hafeken (@HeidiHafeken) January 3, 2019
Van Drew later said the vote of "no" was not an affront to Pelosi, saying he would prefer a more bipartisan speaker.
However, those who followed Van Drew's campaign for the House seat previously held by Republican Frank LoBiondo believe his vote was contrary to his promise.
“By stating he was voting for ‘no,’ his vote was actually recorded as merely being present, which helped hand Nancy Pelosi the speakership once again,” Atlantic County Young Republicans Chairman Brian Fitzherbert said in a news release.
Freshman Rep Jeff Van Drew said he voted no because his constituency is split down the middle essentially. He’s shown, on a very important matter, that he is not a Democrat. He’s looking to be popular back home and will likely blow with the breeze of the Atlantic.— BuckleUpButtercup (@GartnerE1111) January 4, 2019
Jeff Van Drew is gonna be fun.— out on the wire (@CarrieMPruett) January 3, 2019